Did you know that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter on the planet right now? It is only behind the oil industry in terms of environmental impact. As we all know by now, the world is now seeing the effects of these industries on the world. It does not matter whether you are the type of person who wears online shirts or designer clothing. We should all be aware of the ways that the fashion industry impacts the environment.
In the countries that produce garments, textile factories dump untreated wastewaters into rivers and other bodies of water. These toxic liquids contain toxic substances like mercury, arsenic, and lead. The contamination eventually makes its way to the ocean and reaches far corners of the planet. Fertilizers are also used for the production of cotton. This factor contributes to water contamination since these chemicals pollute both evaporation and runoff waters.
These days, clothes are seen as disposable. More and more garments are dumped at the landfill or incinerated. Only a small portion of clothes get donated or recycled. Synthetic fibres are also non-biodegradable and would not decompose until 200 years or so. Keep in mind that these fabrics are present in 72 percent of clothing!
Did you know that the fashion industry accounts for a tenth of global carbon emissions? It takes plenty of energy to produce, manufacture, and transport all the garments. This results in the generation of greenhouse gases. It does not help that the majority of clothes are made in coal-powered countries. This type of energy releases the dirtiest carbon emissions.
What We Can Do About It
We understand that these things sound worrisome. In light of climate change, these concerns are certainly valid. Perhaps you are wondering what you can do about it as a consumer. There are some things that we can do to minimize our impact on the environment through our fashion choices.
Here are some guidelines that you can keep in mind to be a more ethical consumer:
- Buy clothes made in places with strict factory environmental regulations and powered by renewable energy.
- Go for organic and natural fibres with low water consumption
- Avoid synthetic fibres as much as possible
- Invest in garments of better quality
- Recycle your items of clothing whenever you can
- Mend and fix clothes
- Try not to buy garments you do not need
- Support sustainable brands
The fashion industry has an undeniably huge impact on our environment. Every single one of us engages in this, although the mileage might vary. You can follow the guidelines above if you want to reduce your impact on the environment.
However, it is important to remember that this is a systemic problem that individuals cannot solve on their own. If we want things to change, we must push the government to regulate the industry some more and support legislators who plan to do something about the problem.